Sunday, November 22, 2009

Here is a quick update on things for the last couple weeks:
  • Grant made the 8th grade basketball team. He is very excited, though the daily practices are a grind.
  • Tanya turned 13 yesterday. We had a party Friday night. Grandma & Grandpa Tingey came as did Brady and his kids.
  • Victor went to priesthood preview tonight. Of the 6 boys there, he was most willing to try and answer questions. When asked by the Bishop what the priesthood is, he answered: "it is your spirit." The Bishop kindly corrected him. Still, the boy is game, and we were very proud of him.
  • Morgan all the sudden seems to be a piano player. She is pounding away constantly and learning some decent songs.
  • Ana basically learned to read in the last few weeks. She's been on the cusp for a few months, but something seemed to click recently, and she can read simple books just fine now. Though she's 8, she had never learned, not even in her native language. She spontaneously wrote a song today with accompanying picture--posted below.
  • Ethan continues to keep everyone social. He is the most frequent playmate for Victor and Ana and can communicate things sometimes that others can't. For example, the other day Victor and Ana were laughing hysterically when we told the kids to go brush their teeth in the bathroom. It took Ethan to explain that they thought the word "bathroom" means toilet. Who knows what they thought we were asking them to do.

Tanya's 13th birthday

Tanya turned 13! We ate out at Costa Vida as a family (she picked the restaurant because Victor doesn't like fast food tacos), one way to pick what you would like to eat on your birthday. We then had Grandma and Grandpa Tingey over and Brady and his girls came. We had lots of cake and ice cream and then opened presents.

Here's a smile. She was really disappointed with her birthday because she didn't get a 10$ dog she had seen at a drug store. I didn't even know what or where to get it. She sat sulking in her room the rest of the night. And the next day when I asked her to thank the kids for her gifts she said No. So I was a little, ok, really ticked with her for the next few days. After a couple days she said thanks to everyone at the table.

That week she told the therapist that she doesnt' have a family -- pretty much because I was mad at her (because she wouldn't say thank you, why didn't I let that one go?). It festered and by Friday I got mad so I sat all the kids down and we had a talk about why mom was mad and so I could say sorry (I feel like that is all I did this summer was say sorry for everything... flash back of a very stressful/crazy summer). So yesterday in therapy she said she wanted to have a family again because mom loved her. I feel like I'm walking on a tight rope, I do one thing and depending on how she interprets it the world is good or bad. I know it's just the attachement (talking doesn't work, it's a brain thing) and where she is mentally and the last two months have been pretty good, it's just so much more work and pressure than I ever imagined.

Lots of firsts for her and me. She never had a "big" birthday and I never thought anyone could hate their birthday.... good thing there is next year. baby steps...

Ana's my big helper

We had to put together some Christmas presents so they could be taken with people visiting family at thanksgiving (so I didn't have to mail them). So Ana was my big helper all day. We wrapped everything and made some things. She was so good and is so excited for Christmas. She had 1,000 questions about Santa and Christmas trees and presents. I'm getting pretty excited for Christmas myself!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

YW in Excellence

Tanya sang a song at YW in excellence. She chose As I Have Loved You and Lauren helped her sing it. She was so nervous she couldn't eat all day, but as soon as she was done she ate her dinner and dessert in 3 minutes flat.

Refinery fire

Last week there was a huge bang in my house, it was so loud it felt like the house shook. I went out back to see if something had happened with the tractors building a rock wall in our neighbors yard. When I stepped out I noticed the workers taking pictures with their phones. There were huge flames at the refinery closest to our house and the smoke was floating over the kids Jr. High school. By the time I got my camera the flames were about gone, but because of a power outage north of the explosion the refinery further way burst into flames. Happy to note that is what it is suppose to do and the flames were all in stacks.

I did call down to the school and they said everything was fine and that the fire department had checked out the school and there was no damage to the school. On the news they showed a lot of houses down around the refinery had had windows blown out and a lot of damage.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treating

Here are the kids in costume ready to go trick or treating. The tall one in back is Tanya as a witch, next tallest is Victor as the skeleton, next to him Ethan as a spy kid. Ana is on the other side of Tanya dressed as a nija and Morgan is sitting and she is little red riding hood. My amazing and brave mother picked up the kids and took them trick or treating so Troy could help me with Grant's party and answer the door for trick or treaters!

Grant's Halloween Party

Then Gang.
The food.

The Host and House.

Grant had his first boy girl party! He did the menu and decorating and we planned the games and movie together. The kids were awesome. They cracked me up though, I think they could have just sat around chatting all night and been just as happy as having any activities.

So the party started with golfing some mini pumpkins across the back yard. They never knew if one would blow up or if it would go flying and they seemed to enjoy that. They then had dinner and sat around chatting. They had wanted to go trick or treating so we scratched the games we planned and sent them on a candy bar treasure hunt. The black team was only missing the box of raisins, thus allowing the purple team to win. The prize? Minty fresh toothbrushes. Then off to the movies. Let me just say that was the hardest part to figure out! Troy and I watched a bunch of movies this week looking for something 13 year olds could watch and we still hadn't found anything by Saturday! My brother-in-law mentioned they lived by someone who worked for Clean Flix and we were able to borrow some movies from them. The kids picked The Others and I think it scared them pretty good! We then made eye ball ice cream for dessert and sat around talking until I broke it up and made kids go home. Very well behaved and fun kids, it's nice to see who Grant hangs out with at lunch every day.

Carving Pumpkins

Friday we had friends over and carved our pumpkins. It was a lot of fun and not too messy. Jennifer came with the idea to cut the bottom off the pumpkin instead of the top and that made gutting them (the kids who did it) a lot easier, less seeds to dig out. Then you just set your pumpkin over the candle. It was fun to hang out.

Trunk or Treat

Last Tuesday the kids went trunk or treating at the church. It was freezing cold outside, but Tanya, Victor and Ana made rounds until everyone left. Thus they came home with very full buckets of candy and in the 20 minutes they had to eat some before bed Ana and Tanya downed a couple pounds of candy! Tanya was bent close to the table and unwrapping it and putting it in her mouth as fast as she could. I don't think they had ever seen that much candy at one time.

They also had to do their own face paint... I think Ana's picture tells that story.


With last Tuesdays snow the kids went out to build a snowman, they began with the traditional looking snowman and ended up with mr. skull head. They were hoping that it looked like a body was buried in the snow. No carrots for these kids.